80 votes

Why shouldn't dogs eat chocolate?

The reason is simple: Chocolate contains cocoa which contains Theobromine. The darker the chocolate is (meaning the more cocoa it contains) the more theobromine it contains. This is a bitter alkaloid ...
user avatar
  • 49.1k
42 votes
Accepted

How can the organic mercury compound Thiomersal be not dangerously toxic?

Thiomersal is broken down into two compounds, thiosalicylate and ethylmercury (Ensink 2015). The thiosalicylate it is relatively non-toxic, and there is even some evidence that this compound could ...
user avatar
  • 2,711
33 votes
Accepted

Is there anything that is completely non-toxic to humans at any dose?

I’ll answer this theoretically, since that’s how it has been posed. And if we’re ignoring practicalities, we may as well posit that the substance in question will be introduced directly into the ...
user avatar
  • 3,119
32 votes
Accepted

How is heavy water detrimental to the human body?

The question is already answered by Armand. I am just going to elaborate on that by referencing the paper. Different isotopes of chemical elements have slightly different chemical behaviors, but for ...
user avatar
30 votes

Is antivenom fatal?

1. Synopsis I'd like to preface this by saying don't randomly use medicines without a doctor's advice. It's fairly unlikely antivenom would cause you any harm but in some cases, antivenom could be ...
user avatar
  • 1,495
28 votes
Accepted

Is pork poisonous?

Pigs and swine are so poisonous that you can hardly kill them with strychnine or other poisons. This is a non-sequitur. An animal being poisonous does not imply that it resists to poison, nor the ...
user avatar
  • 6,832
25 votes

Why shouldn't dogs eat chocolate?

The toxic ingredient in chocolate is in the mythylxanine class, a substance called theobromine. It is much like theophylline; overdoses of theophylline used to be very common before the advent of ...
user avatar
20 votes
Accepted

Why does black and yellow indicate danger?

First of all, great question! What you describe here is known as aposematism. Aposematism is the adapation of warning signals against the predator. This word is used for any sound, coloring, and odor ...
user avatar
  • 3,049
18 votes
Accepted

What's the worst that can happen from eating too many spicy peppers? Can you die?

The more "dangerous" properties of spicy peppers are chiefly due to capsaicin. Sigma-Aldrich sells purified capsaicin, for which they provide safety information, including an MSDS. Most of ...
user avatar
  • 4,460
16 votes
Accepted

Why are bacteria immune to snake poisons?

Short answer Many snake poisons target specific proteins not present in unicellular organisms. Background The question is admittedly broad but the idea behind this question is pretty much what you ...
user avatar
  • 51k
16 votes
Accepted

How does methamphetamine (meth) damage neurons?

Nice question! I will directly begin with the process through which methamphetamine causes damage to neurons, putting in as much details as are known, and adding appropriate citations wherever ...
user avatar
15 votes
Accepted

How did zootoxins evolve?

General overview. Each toxin and poison probably have their own evolutionary "arms race". Generally, an organism contains a compound that is a bit harmful to other species. As a predator or ...
user avatar
  • 11.2k
14 votes

How is heavy water detrimental to the human body?

Substitution of deuterium atoms for normal hydrogen atoms changes structure and function at the atomic scale, disrupting normal biological processes. It causes changes in protein conformation and ...
user avatar
  • 1,689
12 votes

Is fluoride toxic, and how worried should I be about it?

First of all: Yes, fluoride is toxic, but the toxicity depends largely on the form (soluble vs. unsoluble, which fluoride salt etc.) occurs. It also depends on the environment since insoluble salts ...
user avatar
  • 49.1k
12 votes

How do I calculate a "full-life" from a half-life of substance elimination?

There is no such thing as a "full-life", because in most relevant mathematical models (the simplest and most common being first-order exponential decay), the time required for all the the ...
user avatar
11 votes

Is there anything that is completely non-toxic to humans at any dose?

It depends largely on the method of administration. If you are atomizing the substance and delivering it via water vapor, many, many substances have no known LDLo (lowest dose required to kill a ...
user avatar
  • 211
10 votes

Is there anything that is completely non-toxic to humans at any dose?

There is a problem with definition of toxicity — things that are dangerous in large amounts aren't usually called toxic. In spite of this, you're right: everything can be dangerous to a human in ...
user avatar
  • 294
9 votes

Does urine therapy really work?

This is at best anecdotal evidence. First of all, urine is, although it has been thought otherwise for decades, not sterile. The bacteria in it just don't grow under the conditions used in the lab ...
user avatar
  • 49.1k
9 votes
Accepted

How harmful is aluminium?

Here is a link to the Public Health Statement for Aluminum produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States. There is much more information on the web page but ...
user avatar
  • 2,695
8 votes
Accepted

Why doesn't the herbicide 2,4-D damage lawn grass?

According to this link from Purdue, the seed of the answer is this: The herbicide is used to kill broadleaf weeds, which are dicots, while monocot grasses, such as sorghum and corn, are more ...
user avatar
8 votes

Does THC excretion increase if urine volume increases?

This question asks about the urinary excretion of THC. Before answering the question I think you're getting at, I'll first note that cannabinoids (of which THC is one) are primarily metabolized by ...
user avatar
  • 3,119
8 votes

What are the mechanistics of stinging nettles?

The stinging hairs (trichomes) of the common North American nettle (Urtica dioica) are sharp, pointed cells. These nucleated cells are embedded in a base of smaller epidermal cells. The shaft of the ...
user avatar
  • 51k
8 votes
Accepted

Relationship between toxicity of drugs and negative effects on brain

Short answer The causes of death after heroin, cocain or cannabis overdose are mainly due to cardiac and respiratory arrest, and not to neurotoxic effects. Background The cause of death after a ...
user avatar
  • 51k
8 votes
Accepted

If alcohol is a depressant, why does it makes certain people more hyperactive?

These types of reactions in pharmacology in general are called paradoxical effects. The main effect of alcohol on the CNS is the potentiation of GABA receptors. GABA receptors are (mostly) inhibitory ...
user avatar
  • 34.8k
7 votes

Can botulinum toxin be grown or kept from denaturing in an UNWRAPPED 50 pound hay bale?

Clostridium botulinum toxin is present ubiquitously in soil. As such it is more than plausible that hay bails, which come into contact with soil can and I should expect almost probably will be ...
user avatar
  • 694
7 votes

Why is hydrofluoric acid so dangerous if it is a weak acid?

This question appears to have a revived interest? I would like to clarify this Q&A you don't mind. HF(aq), like other hydrogen halides, does completely give up its proton to $\ce{H2O}$ but since ...
user avatar
  • 515
7 votes
Accepted

What happens when someone is stung by a jellyfish?

The problem is that box jellyfish doesn't specify one jellyfish but a group of different jellyfish. Some of these are highly venomous - I pick here Chironex fleckeri, as this is often called "the most ...
user avatar
  • 49.1k
7 votes

How did zootoxins evolve?

Sortof. Just as every adaptation is the product of a small change in something the species already expressed, all toxins start out as something the organism just happens to produce as part of its life....
user avatar
  • 1,752
7 votes
Accepted

Are all quadrupeds edible?

Edible by whom? Lets assume humans. Yes all quadrpeds are edible though you may not want to eat every part. For example, the scent glands of a skunk, or the quills of a porcupine are repulsive or ...
user avatar
  • 397

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible